Wherein your humble scribe presents a classic weird-ass Basic D&D monster written up for Basic RolePlaying.
Troghûls are a magically-created amalgam of hobgoblins, trolls, and ghouls that outwardly are nearly identical to hobgoblins. Like trolls, these creatures are able to regenerate wounds of all sorts, except those that are the results of fire. Like ghouls, the touch of a Troghûl can paralyze its unlucky victims. And like Hobgoblins, Troghûls are able to travel and fight in full daylight without penalty.
Troghûls are often found among the retinue of powerful Hobgoblin leaders and are also occasionally used as shock troops by powerful wizards and clerics.
Troghûl, A Big Bag Of Nasty
STR 4d6 (14)
CON 2d6+6 (13)
SIZ 2d6+6 (13)
INT 2d6+3 (10)
POW 3d6 (10-11)
DEX 3d6 (10-11)
Average HP: 13
Average Damage Bonus: +1d4
Armor: 1d6 (Hard Leather Armor)
Attacks: Scimitar 40%, damage 1d8+1 + db
Spiked Shield 35%, damage 1d3 + db
Claws 45%, damage 1d4 + db + paralysis
The claws of a Troghûl deliver a toxic substance that paralyzes those who are wounded by them. Each time a character is damaged by a Troghûl’s claws he should make a CON roll against a POT equal to the Troghûl’s own CON. If successful the character is unaffected by the toxin. If unsuccessful then the character becomes paralyzed for a number of hours equal to the POT of the toxin minus the character’s CON, with a minimum of at least 1 hour.
Skills: Climb 55%, Command 35%, Dodge 45%, Grapple 50%, Intimidate 75%, Listen 55%, Spot 50%, Stealth 55%
Powers: Like the Trolls from which they were created, Troghûls regenerate 1d3 HP per round unless the damage is done by fire.
OK, so it’s weird how our minds think alike. This is my favorite monster from Moldvay Basic. In fact, I had started writing a module called “Thoul’s Paradise” (get it?) with the idea of submitting it to the Labyrinth Lord folks, only to find out later they don’t call it a Thoul, they call it a Thorgrim or something like that, and there goes the whole title. So I stopped writing the module.
I like how you gave these guys iconic hobgoblin weapons–scimitar and spiked shield.
That is strange. I’ve been a Thoul kinda guy for, what, pert near 30 years now. Which is to say, they’re easily my fave Moldvay monster, too. Craziness!
Oh man, that’s too damned bad about the module/name thing. I love that title. I was very said when I saw the LL name for the creature in question. I reckon it never got OGL’d and Dan didn’t feel like taking the chance that no one would care (or notice) using the original name. Alas, Throghrin doesn’t lend itself to any kind of pun whatsoever. It’s our loss for sure, because I’m willing to bet it would have been a damn fine module.
I’m glad the weapon choice pleases you, G-Man. It seemed appropriate given that these guys are supposed to hang out with the Hobs, after all. And, though it’s certainly a powerful attack mode, I’ve always seen the ghoul-paralysis stuff as a distant second to the troll-style regeneration when it comes to these guys. So I wanted to see them well armed and blending in to the crowd a bit. In a perfect world one of my smartass, constantly-disarming-the-enemy players knocks the scimitar out of Troghûl’s hands thinking it’s just another Hob, and then gets a nasty surprise 🙂
Yeah, in the original write-up the Thoul is often part of a Hobgoblin chief’s retinue and presumably looks a lot like his cousins, so the PC’s wouldn’t necessarily figure it out until 1) the hobgoblin they’ve hit seven times keeps coming back for more and 2) said hobgoblin just paralyzed Ned the Fighter by touching him.
I often wondered why, with all these special powers, the Thoul bodyguard didn’t just try to off the Hobgoblin chief and take over . . . which was the premise for “Thoul’s Paradise” (along with a band of effete hobgoblin highwaymen who use carrion crawlers for mounts, a prehistoric burial mound swarming with rapacious ghouls, and a collection of psuedo magical liquor, including the ever-popular “Elven Velvet Morning.”)
Thouls always seemed like one of the meanest things you could throw at a party. Which is, of course, why I liked ’em. There’s nothing like watching players start to fight over who gets the ring of regeneration that Hob must be wearing before the fight is even over. And then seeing their faces when someone gets paralyzed 🙂
I always figured Thouls to be the sort that preferred to be the power behind the throne, so to speak. I mean, better to serve the next King faithfully than be the ex-king, and so on.
I love the snippets you’ve given on the abandoned module, G-Man. I mean, despite my rationalizing there have to be Thouls who, regenerating yielding a nice, long life, get sick of watching the “kids” screw things up and decide to take over 🙂
The rest of the stuff sounds great, too. If you ever go forward with it you should come up with mixed drinks to match up with the collection of booze in the adventure. I’d be more than happy to help playtest that part!